A mobile phone company became the leading brand in the world with shocking speed, electrified by the leadership of a charismatic, ruthless CEO. After that CEO stepped down, the company still continued going strong, dominating smartphone sales and refining its products. But the new CEO lacked true vision and revenue growth started showing worrisome signs of stalling. Pressured by Wall Street, the gray and cautious new CEO suddenly made the dramatic decision of spending billions of dollars to acquire a hot new company, breaking the giant’s tradition of avoiding major acquisitions. This new acquisition happened after a long rise on the Nasdaq, and the company ended up paying a stiff premium.
Apple, Samsung, LG and HTC’s newest smartphone-peddling rival is none other than Microsoft. As the biggest software company on the planet continues to increase its focus on hardware, it is now tasked with building Windows Phone’s global market share almost entirely on its own. In an effort to get things moving in the proper direction at the high end of its newly acquired smartphone lineup, Microsoft on Thursday announced a new promotion: Buy a new Lumia Icon, Lumia 1520 or Lumia 1020 and get $65 worth of games and other content for free. More →
For nearly a decade, Nokia was synonymous with the cell phone industry. From the classic, boxy, featureless phones all the way up through the Lumia line, Nokia attempted to evolve along with the market it had a hand in creating. But by the time the Android operating system and the iPhone hit the scene, it was too late to recover. Nokia floundered for a bit, gasping for air as the competition overtook it, until Microsoft finally decided it might be worth saving the most reliable provider of Windows Phone devices. More →
Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business was finalized last Friday but Nokia had one last gift for the new owner of its handset business: plummeting phone sales. Nokia on Tuesday reported its results for the first quarter of 2014, which included a $421 million profit on revenue totaling $3.7 billion, down 15% on year. Net sales in Nokia’s former devices and services business came in at just under $2.7 billion, which represents a massive 30% decline compared to the same quarter in 2013. Nokia’s handset business posted a $424 million operating loss in the quarter, so Microsoft clearly has a steep hill to climb — and we’re not sure if a selfie phone alone will do the trick, even if it’s code-named “Superman.”
As tempting as it might be to believe the Grand Elop Conspiracy theory, the man at the center of it all insists that it’s not true. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notices that former Nokia CEO and current Microsoft exec Stephen Elop was asked during a question-and-answer session on Monday to react to accusations that he was a “Trojan Horse” at Nokia whose job was solely to bring the company’s value down enough for Microsoft to buy it on the cheap. Elop, as you might expect, was having none of it. More →
Microsoft will reportedly launch a new Nokia Windows Phone 8.1 handset that will focus on selfies, no pun intended. The Verge has learned that the Nokia device code-named “Superman” will feature a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a significant improvement compared to most other handsets. Additionally, the handset will feature a 4.7-inch display and mid-ranged specs, according to the site. More →
Nokia’s handset business is officially no more, having been absorbed this past Friday by Microsoft as part of a $7.2 billion deal. Nokia’s phones will live on, however, and the burden of selling them will now fall squarely on Microsoft’s shoulders. Nokia had been the only smartphone vendor to really make any progress with Windows Phone, and most of it was with low-end devices in emerging markets. Even with Nokia’s newfound success in recent quarters, however, Windows Phone’s global market share still sits in the low single digits more than three years after the platform first launched.
Of course, this is no longer Nokia’s problem. More →
The story of Nokia is far from over, but Friday marks the end of its most enthralling chapter thus far. The company was founded nearly 150 years ago and it went through a number of iterations before it became the cell phone giant most of us think of now. But as of April 25th, Nokia is no longer a cell phone company. More →
The end of an era is fast approaching. Microsoft announced on Monday that it will finalize its acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division on Friday, April 25th, thus marking the end of the line for Nokia smartphones. Nokia, an iconic Finnish company that was instrumental in making mobile phones a staple gadget throughout the world, will now focus primarily on making telecom equipment while Microsoft will use Nokia’s engineering talent to make its own smartphones and tablets. Microsoft will not retain the Nokia branding for its mobile devices and will instead rename the division “Microsoft Mobile.” Microsoft also says that “this acquisition will help… accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones” all while “introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones.”
Nokia announced on Thursday that it would be halting sales of the Lumia 2520 tablet in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and the UK after discovering safety concerns related to the AC-300 travel charger. The tablet is still available in the United States, but sales of the travel charger has been suspended. More →
Would Nokia’s story have had a happier ending if the company had decided to pull the trigger on releasing its first-ever tablet computer back in 2001? That’s impossible to know, but Finland’s ISTV has scored a look at Nokia’s tablet-that-never-was in an exclusive interview with Esko Yliruusi, who worked as a data communications specialist at Nokia from 1996 through 2001 and who helped work on the device.
No, Nokia isn’t yet a part of Microsoft and that’s why it’s announced a new event to show off even “more Lumia” devices next month. ZDNet says that Nokia is having a press event on April 2nd in San Francisco to talk about a new line of devices that will be unveiled just before Microsoft’s Build developers conference. Nokia made some minor waves earlier this year when it launched its first-ever Android-based phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona although it’s very likely that the company will come back to Windows Phone for this upcoming event, especially since it will come just before Microsoft is set to unveil Windows Phone 8.1.
The inevitable has been delayed. According to both Nokia and Microsoft, the $7.2 billion acquisition deal will now be finalized at some point in April rather than at the end of March as the companies had previously announced. We have covered several of the regulatory approvals relating to the buyout over the past few months, although Nokia’s statement reveals that the two companies are still awaiting approvals from several antitrust authorities in Asia. Microsoft confirmed the details of Nokia’s press release on the official blog, noting that “the completion of this acquisition will mark the first step to bring Microsoft and the Nokia Devices and Services business together.”